Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal is going to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today to discuss the national budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021.
According to officials of the Finance Division, various important aspects of the next budget, such as its size, revenue target, arranging funds to meet the budget deficit, rates of GDP (gross domestic product) growth and inflation, might be finalised in today's meeting.
A Finance Division official who is directly involved with preparing the budget said the country's trade and commerce and all other economic activities have practically come to standstill because of the ongoing coronavirus induced shutdown.
The official noted that they had never gone through such a situation in the past and hence they are facing tremendous hardship in preparing the budget this year.
Pointing out that they cannot make any forecast about the future of the economy, and the trade and commerce amid the present situation and that it is also not possible to hold pre-budget discussions with the stakeholders concerned, he said they are waiting for prime minister's directive to start working in this regard.
The size of the next budget has primarily been estimated at around Tk5.5 lakh crore, while the budget deficit might be kept within the limit of 5 percent of the GDP. However, everything depends on how the country's economy performs in the post-pandemic period, the official said.
Issues such as widening the area of the social safety net programmes, continuing cash assistance for the jobless poor and sustainable development of the health sector are getting priority in the next budget.
The finance minister is likely to present the budget before the parliament in June 11 next.